The "Old City" is the centerpiece of Yerushalyem. No trip to Israel would be complete without a tour of the "Old City", no matter which religion a person holds to or even if one holds to no religion at all. We find ourselves in this latter group as our beliefs have moved away from the teachings and precepts of man to the Scriptures themselves as the foundation of our lives. Our love for HIM and HIS Scriptures become our guide as we wander through the maze of this ancient city.
Our hearts draw us through the streets as we seek the lingering traces of HIS presence in this special place that HE has claimed as HIS own. The lines blur between the ancient and the modern and we walk on streets that we can know from the Scriptures HE walked through 2,000 years ago. Every stone we touch could well have been a stone that felt HIS touch and we long for a glimpse of anything that HIS eyes may have seen so long ago.
There aren't many such places left among the tourist trappings laid over much of what was there in HIS day. The closest we can come are at locations like Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives and the pools of Shiloam. The streets no longer bear visible witness to HIS passing as the throngs of humanity that pass through this city each year seeking HIM prove.
One part of the "Old City" draws the hearts of many as we can know that HE looked upon and perhaps touched the stones of the "Wailing Wall" where many come to pray and seek HIM. Our many stops on this day lead us ever closer to the Kotel teasing us with tantalizing glimpses of the Plaza below. Our main visit has been scheduled for the evening when we will enter into the tunnels beneath the Temple Mount. Until then, the Wall must wait. There are many other places to see first.
The IDF soldiers are happy to show off their smiling faces with these Texans. Their presence is very much a part of Israeli life with the constant threat of their "hostile neighbors". We welcome their presence and pray for their well-being as they stand as "watchmen (and women!) at the Wall". DannyLee has a special place in his heart for these men. He salutes every man that stands between good people and the enemy everywhere that we travel. There are so few that are willing to stand up and be counted these days.